There’s no denying that scholarships for disadvantaged students change lives. You only have to read the inspiring stories of young women who received high school scholarships through the Harding Miller Education Foundation (HMEF) to understand the huge impact that they have on people’s lives.
The cost of attending high school and college for tertiary studies is often out of reach for some students. Even government-funded public schools that offer children a free education expect parents to pay for uniforms and ask for voluntary contributions for textbooks and excursions. It’s therefore not surprising that students from lower income households are missing out on a basic level of education.
When you consider that women are more likely to live in poverty than men, it’s girls who could benefit most from female scholarships to achieve their full potential.
However, not all female students and their families are aware that they may be eligible for scholarships or even understand what extra funding can do for them.
Here, we look at the basic things that everyone should know about scholarships.
1. Everyone Could Be Eligible for a Scholarship
It’s a common misconception that scholarships are only reserved for international students or those who excel at sports or have achieved the highest grades. In truth, if you’re from a disadvantaged home and show academic potential and the motivation to study, you could be entitled to a financial award.
There are plenty of scholarships for girl students to apply for. Many schools and colleges run their own scholarship programs, which must be applied for directly. But, there are also hundreds of Australian institutions that welcome applications from young female students looking for help gaining the education they deserve. For example: Students looking for support while gaining Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications could consider applying for the BUSY at Work program. If technology is your thing, the Australian Computer Society Foundation has awarded over 6,000 scholarships since its launch in 2001.
The Public Education Foundation offers a wide variety of scholarships focusing on specific areas of need, such as refugees, indigenous, rural and disabled students.
Don’t forget the HMEF scholarship program that offers grants to females in high school. Through our scholarships, we help girls experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage to improve their educational outcomes and achieve their career aspirations.
2. You Can Apply for More Than One Scholarship
You don’t have to restrict yourself by applying for just one scholarship. The reality is that you should not expect to win them all, so the more you apply for, the greater your chances of being accepted. Always read the criteria to ensure that you meet the requirements, and spend time on the application to make sure that you get it right. If you don’t try, you definitely won’t win a scholarship.
3. Don’t Apply for Everything
Many students make the mistake of applying for every scholarship they can find. Completing an application can be a long process, and it may take you hours to fill out an application form or write a submission essay. Completing excessive applications is not only frustrating, but it could be a waste of time, especially if you find yourself applying for programs that you’re not eligible for.
Restrict yourself to spending time on just four or five applications. For college and university scholarships, narrow down the search using a website like the Good Universities Guide. Fewer applications mean you can focus on each one to let your enthusiasm shine through in your submission.
4. Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students Pay for More Than Tuition Fees
Scholarships come in different shapes and sizes. Small monetary grants are useful for covering your school tuition fees. Midsize scholarships should also pay for uniforms and excursions. Full scholarships for students going to college or university also help to cover the costs of accommodation and living for the duration of your degree.
However, full scholarships for females in high school can help pay for so much more. For example, the HMEF scholarship is valued at $20,000 over four years to support disadvantaged girls from year nine through graduation. In the first year, students are given a laptop and high-speed internet access. For each of the four years, the program covers school expenses, uniforms, personal tutoring and unlimited online homework assistance.
For families who struggle to pay for their children to attend secondary school and college, these scholarships are invaluable.
5. Be Original and Creative in Your Application
Many scholarships require applicants to write an essay. As it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd, you need to grab the scholarship committee’s attention in the first few sentences. It’s vital that your essay is both creative and original.
Always answer the question being asked. There’s no need to mention the question. A well-written essay makes the answer clear without being obvious.
6. Scholarships Change Lives
Scholarships are a lifeline for students who live in low-income households. They provide the financial and emotional support necessary to help students reach their educational potential.
As an Australian charity and public benevolent institution, HMEF strives to change the lives of young girls by giving them the opportunity to study without worrying about the financial burden. Meet our 2020 scholars who are set to receive the backing they need to realise their dreams.